Devil Rays 5, Tigers 3.
James Shields proved last night that if he wants a W, he just going to have to go out and do it himself. Shields had not won since a May 3rd victory over the Twins. That’s a span of 4 starts including a start in which he threw 9 scoreless innings and another in which he left with a 3-1 lead after 7 innings. It didn’t look like it was going to happen last night after falling behind 3-0 in the first. Shields surrendered 5 hits in the first, and threw 23 pitches. Over the next 8 innings, he allowed only 2 hits and a walk and needed only 82 pitches. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. According to Baseball Prospectus Shields is now the 6th most valuable pitcher in baseball with a VORP of 24.6.

After taking 2 of 3 from the White Sox, the Devil Rays finally get the Royals after Kansas City was fodder for the rest of the AL East the first two weeks of the season. With the off-day today and a 4-game set, the Rays will be able to throw both Scott Kazmir and Shields in the series. This is a great opportunity to take a step forward and make a run towards the Charlie Hough Line. It is all about winning series and if the Rays want to be taken seriously they must win 3 of 4 against the hapless Royals at the Trop.




  1. The Professor says:

    Oh yeah, and as an update to yesterday's hangover...Shields now has MORE quality starts (8) than Jackson, Seo and Fossum combined (7).

  2. Anonymous says:

    With Shield's emergence and what is going on (good) with the Durham staff, are you at all tempted to float Kazmir's name around the deadline just to see what he would bring? I think fans would hate it and probably the team could not take the black eye, but I can't help but think he could bring back a package that would make the Colon to the Expos deal look like nothing. And I am still not sold on Kid K being an ace.

  3. The Professor says:

    even if the team did consider trading Kaz it wouldnt happen during the season. those trades are made for the playoffs and for the stretch run. teams are more like to trade for a veteran arm than a young guy for the future.

    that being said...what would you want in return? the only thing you move him for would be an even younger pitcher and i cant see the Rays doing that when they are looking to compete in 2008.

    Kaz is going to arbitration this off-season for the first time so i wouldnt put it past the team to see what the market is after the season. but you just dont trade a young proven power lefty. it is the most valuable commidty that exists.


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